[Rushtalk] Republican Wins House Seat in California Special Election

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Sat May 23 14:06:43 MDT 2020

Beginning of the end for the PINKOs

Republican Wins House Seat in California Special Election

Mike Garcia, who won the endorsement of President Trump, flipped
California’s 25th Congressional District after Representative Katie
Hill, a Democrat, resigned last year.

Mike Garcia won California’s 25th Congressional District.
Mike Garcia won California’s 25th Congressional
District.Credit...Michael Blood/Associated Press
Jennifer Medina
By Jennifer Medina

        May 13, 2020

LOS ANGELES — Mike Garcia, a former military pilot and newcomer to
Republican electoral politics, has defeated his Democratic opponent in a
special election to fill a House seat in Southern California.

The victory is the first time the G.O.P. has flipped a Democratic held
seat in California since 1998 and is a significant win in an election
that was primarily conducted by mail and reflected the country’s bitter
partisan mood.

Mr. Garcia and Christy Smith, a Democratic member of the State Assembly,
competed to replace former Representative Katie Hill, who resigned last
year after admitting to an affair with a campaign staff member. The two
candidates will meet again in November, when both are planning to run
for a full term.

Though election officials had not yet completed the count, Ms. Smith
announced on her Facebook page that she was conceding the race to Mr.
Garcia Wednesday afternoon, as he maintained a lead of 12 percentage
points. The win clinched a two-for-two showing by the G.O.P. in
Tuesday’s special House elections.

In rural northern Wisconsin, Tom Tiffany, a Republican state senator,
handily beat Tricia Zunker, a Democratic school board member, in the
state’s Seventh Congressional District race.

Even as Ms. Smith congratulated Mr. Garcia, she called the election
“only one step in this process.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that together, we will prevail in the fall
general election,” she wrote in a statement posted on her campaign’s
Facebook page.

Republicans are likely to point to Mr. Garcia’s victory as a sign that
President Trump still has support in the kinds of suburban areas that
Democrats are depending on to win back the White House. Mr. Trump had
repeatedly weighed in on the race, endorsing Mr. Garcia even as he
suggested the election was “rigged” by Democrats in the state.

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats tried to portray the
race as a referendum on Mr. Trump, a strategy they thought would
resonate in the district, where Hillary Clinton won in 2016 by nearly
seven points.

But Mr. Garcia was seen as a top-notch Republican recruit in the
district, where Latinos make up the second-largest group of voters. In
recent years, the party has struggled to shore up its support from
Latino and Asian voters in such diverse suburban districts of Southern

In 2018, liberal activists from Los Angeles enthusiastically flocked to
the district to knock on doors and register new voters, which helped to
fuel one of the most high-profile victories for Democrats in the midterm

Democrats had privately worried that Ms. Hill’s resignation left the
party vulnerable in the district. And Republicans had moved quickly: Mr.
Garcia campaigned for more than a year and leaned heavily on his

California is now set to conduct the November election primarily through
the mail, and Tuesday’s contest was a practice run, with in-person
voting centers mostly setup outdoors in parking lots. The debate over
mail-in voting has grown increasingly rancorous and partisan, with
Republicans portraying it as ripe for fraud, without evidence.

Mr. Garcia had declared victory Wednesday morning, saying in a statement
“I’m ready to go to work right away.”

“It is clear that our message of lower taxes and ensuring we don’t take
liberal Sacramento dysfunction to Washington prevailed,” he said. “For
too long, the people of our district have not had representation, and
it’s time their voice is heard in Washington.”


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